In Knoxville, in the east Tennessee Valley, fall brings migrating warblers, thrushes and other species into open wooded areas for food. That would be a good description of my yard--a wooded edge. And when you think a rainy day takes away your birding opportunities, think again!
I've been hearing thrushy "pit" calls for the past week, but searching for the owners of these voices has been a challenge. Even when I caught a glimpse of bird movement, it was too brief to ID the bird. I have enjoyed a brief Swainson's Thrush song and a "vree" like call over the week but still no visual IDs until today!
I definitely feel charmed when I walk by my dining room window and spot a bird fluttering in the dogwood. This time, I was doubly lucky. My first bird was the elusive Gray-cheeked Thrush. Last May this thrush was an accidental find and a life-bird for me in addition to being a new bird ID for the yard. Once again I found a Gray-cheeked thrush in the same location. Two of them, and now I feel certain they are regular visitors to the yard during migration.
A Swainson's Thrush flew in next (above) and displaced the Gray-cheeked Thrush. The Swainson's showed a nice contrast in the eye and in body color. In these two individuals, the Swainson's Thrush was more brown in appearance, but more importantly, the eye ring was distinctive.Like many of our bird observations, my view of the Swainson's Thrush was brief. The Swainson's departed and was replaced by another Gray-cheeked Thrush. This one was darker in appearance and I assumed wetter from the rain. I believe it was a second Gray-cheeked.